Why Transmedia? The Global Appeal

This is the fourth part of my ‘Why Transmedia?’ series. Please click to go to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Finally: Transmedia has a Global Appeal

We’re only two-thirds through 2011, and already we can see a definite trend, particularly in the movie industry: The international success of your franchise can make or break it. Unlike North America and Europe, states such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries have entertainment markets that are still growing exponentially. And as my Master thesis study on Indian audiences of Hollywood movies has shown, for example, many non-Americans have a very high opinion of US entertainment products. These international audiences are extremely keen to take part in global entertainment experiences, and to thereby feel like a member of the ‘global community’ (or ‘global village,’ if you will). Large-scale entertainment like Hollywood blockbusters transgress national borders with ease*, especially if they involve meta-narratives that are founded on universal human values such as family, love, friendship, and the fight between good and evil. Moreover, it is likely that many developing countries will experience technological leap-frogs; unlike industrialized countries, they don’t have to work through decades of media technology replacement, but can adopt the newest technology right away. These two factors combined, then, mean that transmedia storyworlds do not only have a global appeal, but also the technological possibilities to be distributed internationally, in markets that are far from being saturated. How’s that for positive economic prospects?

*It is true that some countries such as China operate with strict foreign import quotas when it comes to entertainment. While this is a very complex issue with many legal, political, and cultural aspects, the fact that pirated Hollywood movies are still best-sellers in these very countries shows that the demand for global entertainment experiences is definitely there.